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Earthquakes ink Ecuadorian target man Zura on loan

SAN FRANCISCO — The San Jose Earthquakes hope they’ve taken a step toward curing their goal-scoring woes on Monday by announcing the signing of Ecuadorian striker Edmundo Zura.

A 27-year-old target forward, Zura joins the Quakes on loan from Ecuadorian Serie A side El Nacional, for whom he has made 30 appearances and scored 10 goals since joining the club in 2009. He notched four goals and an assist for the team last season.

The 6-foot, 195-pound forward also has 11 caps for the Ecuadorian national team and captained La Tri’s U-17 team to victory at the 2007 Pan-American Championships as one of the squad’s overage players.

The Quakes hope he’ll be able to find his scoring touch quickly to help quell a franchise-worst 11-game winless streak. San Jose are tied for second-worst in the league with 26 goals scored through 24 games played and are currently without a target man in the lineup after Steven Lenhart was granted an indefinite leave of absence and newly acquired Alan Gordon required hip surgery.

“We have been scouting a number of players for a long time ahead of this decision and I believe Edmundo has the potential to help our club right away,” Earthquakes GM John Doyle said in a statement. “We have been looking for attacking players that can score goals and provide a presence in the box.”

Zura spent the majority of his career with Ecuadorian side Imbabura SC, for whom he scored 23 goals in 54 appearances dating back to 2002. During his time with the Ibarra-based club, he also had loan stints in the Australian A-League with the Newcastle Jets (where he was the team’s equivalent of a Designated Player), as well as time with Ecuadorian sides Barcelona SC and Marcará.

He will be added to San Jose’s roster upon receipt of his P-1 Visa. Per league and team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.